Until recently, digital examination was the most important and useful tool in assessing a rectal cancer. It allows precise information on the location of the lesion, size and fixity that, where present, suggests a locally advanced tumour [16, 17]. The diagnostic accuracy of digital examination for T-stage has been estimated around 62-83% when carried out by an experienced surgeon [2, 17, 18] and somewhere around 44-78% for less experienced ones. Digital examination is definitely less accurate for the assessment of N-stage, with figures that do not exceed 67% in experienced hands .
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